Finance Minister K M Mani has left the ball in the court of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and the Cabinet to take a final decision on the controversial move to hand over 35 schools in minority communities’ centered regions in the Malabar belt to aided managements.
The file concerned which was referred to by the Cabinet for an opinion has been sent to the Chief Minister with the same opinion marked by pundits of the Finance Ministry that it will incur crores of rupees as liability to the exchequer, if handed over to the aided sector.
“Over and above the heavy financial commitment, a policy decision is involved in it,” Mani told Express.
Mani has sent the file to the prudence and action of the CM without jotting down any remarks on his own.
Earlier, at the time of the proposal, the Finance Ministry had raised eyebrows in view of the sustained financial commitment of the state attendant to the handing over to the aided sector.
The schools were functioning for around two decades with the financial support of a special Central scheme evolved for minority centered areas in various parts of the country.
Most of the schools among the listed 35 fall in Malappuram district.
Widespread allegations are doing the rounds that many of the managements waiting in the wings for a smooth takeover of the schools have already collected huge money for appointing/regularising teachers in such schools.
With the Finance Ministry continuing with its earlier stance, the Cabinet decision is poised to become crucial.